b'IntroductionIn many ways, 2020 was an unprecedented year. In mid- technology companies) and summarize important March, the United States abruptly went into lockdowndecisions issued by courts in key jurisdictions during as coronavirus cases began to spike; a national2020. These cases are typically filed by shareholders emergency was declared, travel bans and gatheringseeking to recover investment losses after a companys restrictions were imposed, schools, workplaces, andstock price drops following the disclosure of negative restaurants were closed, and professional and collegenews. Plaintiffs typically assert claims under Sections sports seasons were cancelled. The United States and10(b), 20(a) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange the world came to recognize COVID-19 as a potentiallyAct of 1934 (the 1934 Act) based upon allegedly unprecedented global catastrophe, a realization thatfalse and misleading statements or omissions made nearly broke the financial markets.1 On March 16, 2020,by the company and its officers, and, if the alleged the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 13%misstatements or omissions are made in connection (3,000 points)the largest single-day drop in Unitedwith a securities offering, under Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and States historywhile the S&P 500 plummeted 12%, its15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the 1933 Act).worst day since 1987. Meanwhile, as coronavirus fearsDespite the turmoil and disruption of 2020, plaintiffs ripped through Wall Street, the VIX, a gauge of stocklawyers and courts appear to have adapted readily to market volatility, spiked 43%, breaking the record set at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.2 CNNs index ofthe new normal of 2020, as plaintiffs firms continued market sentiment was flashing extreme fear, whiletheto file securities class actions, albeit at lower rates than Wall Street Journals so-called fear gauge (the CBOEin prior years, and courts continued to issue detailed, Volatility Index) closed above 80 for only the third timesubstantive decisions in these actions. Specifically, as in history (the first two occasions occurring during thedetailed in our prior Year in Review publications, the 2008 financial crisis).3 The pandemic brought manynumber of securities class actions filed nationally grew global changes, and one of the broadest effects hassteadily over the last several years, reaching an all-time been accelerated adoption of technology at work andrecord level (427 actions) in 2019. In 2020, the number at home. As a result, the technology sector received aof class action filings in state and federal courts fell significant boost. below 400to 334 actions (a 22% decline from 2019)for the first time since 2016, but that figure is still far It is against this extraordinary backdrop that we presenthigher than the 1997-2019 average.4 Core class action our third annual Securities Litigation Year in Reviewfilingswhich excludes M&A-related filingsfell 12%, publication, in which we analyze securities class actionsto 234 actions.5 As in prior years, three law firms were filed nationally against publicly traded companies inresponsible for the majority of class action filings in the technology and communications sectors (together,2020, but complaints first filed by these three law firms 1Justin Baer, The Day Coronavirus Nearly Broke the Financial Markets, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (May 20, 2020), https://www.wsj.com/ articles/the-day-coronavirus-nearly-broke-the-financial-markets-11589982288.2CNN, Market Volatility Spikes to Record High, Taking Out 2008 Crisis Peak (Mar. 16, 2020), available at https://www.cnn.com/business/live- news/stock-market-news-today-031620/index.html; CNBC, S&P Fell More Than 11 CNBC, Stock Market Live Monday: Dow Drops 13%, Trump Says Recession Possible, Trading Halted At Open (Mar. 16, 2020), available at https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/stock-market-today-live.html.3Id.4Cornerstone Research, Securities Class Action Filings 2020 Year in Review (the Cornerstone Report), available at https://www.cornerstone. com/Publications/Reports/Securities-Class-Action-Filings-2020-Year-in-Review.pdf, at 1.5Id.4'